Notes: The 2004-2006 Nissan Maxima has widespread transmission problems. It starts with the vehicle jerking when shifting, & progresses to full-blown transmission failure.

Maxima owners report spending $3,000 to replace the transmission, typically around when the odometer hits 100,000 miles.

There's a class action lawsuit filed in late 2011, & it is still in the "discovery" stage. Apparently, these things take time ... far too much time.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,043 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Nissan Maxima steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #9

Jul 232003

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles


I think you need to look into the issue of shimmy or vibration in the Maxima's 2004-2005-2006. My car has the shimmy and I and the dealer have done just about everything Nissan says to do to resolve the issue. I even bought new tires another brand and it is still there. $$$ what is happening is that there is a constant shimmy in the steering wheel. The shimmy is mostly very light except for certain speeds the you can see it in the wheel. It is not the tires.. it may be the wheels or the steering components. If you or Nissan would poll all of the owners of the Maximas you will find that this issue is the norm and not exception. Go out onto the web to and under 6th gen look at the complaints under shimmy. I don't know of anyone who has a Maxima that doesn't have the shimmy and I am sure there are many who just live with it. This issue will keep me from buying another Maxima. This could be a safety issue at higher speeds as that is when the shimmy really shows up. Please take a closer look at this.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #8

Aug 162004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles
Bought the Nissan Maxima on August 10, 2004 from vob Nissan in rockville, md. Under 100 miles, took back to dealer due to unacceptable level of vibration in the front wheels felt through the steering wheel generally between 40 and 70 mph on smooth surfaced highway driving. Initially I was told this is probably due to flat spots on the tires per car sitting in the lot for an extended time. But the vibration continued. When cruising more pronounced. Dealer initially performed wheel balancing which didn't work. Then they replaced the front two Continental tires which still didn't work. They performed "?road force balancing?" check. The tires had readings of close to 40 where the acceptable reading should be below 10. There was also an issue with the brakes. When driven at highway speeds and brakes are applied, the steering was visibly vibrating. Vob also noticed the warped rotors in front and re-surfaced them. Dealer replaced the Continental tires with Michelin mxv4. Noticeable improvement in handling but not quite. Dealer did everything possible per written tsbs, etc. And that there is nothing else he could do, therefore call the manufacturer. 3/22/05 I contacted darcars of rockville. They replaced the brake pads which were unevenly worn and also re-surfaced the rotors in a special machine while they were attached to the car as recommended by Nissan. Vibration problem was markedly better after that. However, I still feel the problems when pressing the break pedal lightly going at speed. Also when driving above 60 mph on straight roads. I am debating whether to take the car back to the dealer now or wait for it to get worse. It has been a constant frustration.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #7

Oct 122004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles
Steering wheel shimmy since purchased in June, 2004. Shimmy occurs between 55 and 65 mph. Have been to the dealer at least 4 times for this issue. They even applied the following service bulletin to no avail: Service bulletin num : 04085, date of bulletin: Jul 16, 2004 NHTSA item number: 10008836.

- Batavia, IL, USA

problem #6

Oct 062004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,727 miles


Steering wheel shimmies at speeds from 50-80 mph and also shimmies harshly when braking at lower speeds. I had this in for repair twice so far. The first time they turned the rotors. The next time they rotated the tires. Also, had gps/nav system in for repair three times to date. The dvd was reprogrammed the first time and replaced twice. I'm getting ready to file a lemon law complaint.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #5

Jul 172004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,500 miles
I am experiencing severe vibrations in the steering of my new 2004 Maxima. After several trips for alignment, rotations and balancing - I was advised I had a bad tire by the local Nissan dealer. They suggested I go to the local good year dealer and have the tire replaced. Upon arriving at the good year dealer - I was informed that they had replaced several tires for the year, make and model and it was suggested that there was a manufacturing defect in the design of the car and it's ability to absorb oscillation of the tire.

- Lenoir City, TN, USA

problem #4

Jun 142004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
While driving, the steering wheel vibrated heavily. It was hard to turn the wheel. The dealer exchanged the vehicle for another and the new vehicle has experienced the same problems. The vehicle would also pull.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 142004


  • miles


When driving at 50 to 60 mph, the steering wheel shimmies. I've taken the car back to the dealer four times, twice they have balanced the tires, they recalibrated their balancing machine and once they made an adjustment to the steering column. Problem still exist with only 7800 miles.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #2

Feb 062004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
When driving at speeds of 50-60 mph the steering wheel shimmies. All four orginal tires were rotated and balance on four seperate occasions among three different service dealers. The tire manufacture replaced two tires that were on the front of the car, but it did not correct the problem.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #1

Mar 182003


  • 150 miles
At any speed, the steering wheel vibrated severely. The consumer stopped the vehicle and pulled off and the problem seemed to correct itself. The manufacturer and the dealer are aware of the problem.

- High Point, NC, USA

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